Everyone likes to have a comfy chair for relaxing in at home – and 13-year-old Lloyd Carroll is no different. Lloyd, who has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, spends every day either in his wheelchair or in bed and needs your help to be able to relax around the family home in comfort.
Lloyd lives with his parents and younger brother in Rownhams, Southampton, and attends Kings’ School in Winchester. Mum Tanya Carroll said: “Lloyd has a degenerative condition and he is weakening all the time. He has lost the ability to walk and is now dependent on a wheelchair. Unfortunately, he doesn’t really get the opportunity to relax and stretch all his internal organs – unless he is in bed.
“Our settee doesn’t offer him the postural help he needs; without the correct support he is like a floppy doll. And because he is always in his upright wheelchair Lloyd feels he is set apart from the rest of the family.”
The specialist chair that Lloyd needs costs £2,154 but there is no local statutory funding available – which prompted Tanya and her husband to turn to leading UK children’s disability charity Newlife Foundation for help.
The equipment will importantly include specialist arm rests, which will enable Lloyd to use his hands while seated. Tanya said: “The arm supports are crucial. Like most other children his age, Lloyd likes to play with his iPod and this feature will mean he can continue to do this.”
Newlife Foundation has provided 242 Equipment Grants for children in Hampshire, totalling £408,541. Equipment ranges from specialist seating, like the chair for Lloyd, disability car seats and portable hoists to wheelchairs, height adjustable beds and communication aids.
However, demand on Newlife resources has shot up in recent months and the charity is appealing for ‘local heroes’ to come forward to fundraise or donate towards the cost of specialist equipment for children in Hampshire.
For instance, Newlife supporters can choose to take on a sponsored sporting challenge, host a coffee morning or cake sale, make and sell handcrafted goods, organise a pub quiz or community car wash, hold a sponsored silence or stage an evening of entertainment.
Newlife CEO Sheila Brown, OBE, said: “Newlife guarantees that 100 per cent of any gift or donation will go directly to provide equipment for disabled and terminally ill children – and donors can ring-fence their money to a specific county.”
If you think you can help, the Newlife Community Fundraising Team can be contacted on freephone 0800 988 4640. Any individual or organisation thinking of running a fundraising event is asked to contact the team, who can offer support and guidance.
Any money raised in excess of Lloyd’s needs would be used to help fund specialist equipment for other children in Hampshire. Newlife is currently working with a total of eight families in the county, with equipment needs totalling £32,121.
● For full details of the charity’s range of practical support for disabled and terminally ill children and their families, call the Newlife Nurse Helpline – freephone 0800 902 0095 – or go to: https://newlifecharity.co.uk
Pictured: Lloyd Carroll.